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I co-founded the Prison Policy Initiative to put the problem of mass incarceration — and the perverse incentives that fuel it — on the national agenda. Over the last 16 years, our campaigns have protected our democracy from the prison system and protected the poorest families in this country from the predatory prison telephone industry. Our reports untangle the statistics and recruit new allies.

But now, more than ever, we need your help to put data & compassion into the conversation. Any gift you can make today will be matched by other donors and go twice as far.

Thank you.
—Peter Wagner, Executive DirectorDonate
This gif shows that focusing on the national figures can obscure huge state variations. States vary in their use of probation.

Data Source: Full source description available at https://www.prisonpolicy.org/reports/50statepie.html#methodology. (Graph: Peter Wagner, 2016)

This graph originally appeared in Correctional Control: Incarceration and supervision by state.

Thinking of the U.S. criminal justice system as one system can be a mistake. There are 50 state systems, plus one in each of the approximately 3,000 counties and often separate systems in the approximately 30,000 municipalities. These differences matter a great deal.

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